Drive Safe to #Sturgis!

Prashant Shah, August 11, 2018

The past weekend, I was fortunate to take a road trip from Denver to Yellowstone to Devil’s Tower to Mt. Rushmore. One common message I saw was “Drive Safe to Sturgis” and one common sight were the numerous bikers on the road. Not being into motorbikes and not knowing the history of the #SturgisRally, I could not understand the message. Spotty cell reception meant I could not search about Sturgis. If I had known before I planned my trip, I would have carved out an extra day to experience the Sturgis Rally.

Being on the road for more than 1800 miles, I couldn’t do anything but observe these bikers – many of them with license plates from California, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, and others – and their journeys to Sturgis. The management consultant in me could not be help notice some important lessons. Here are the 3 important lessons I learnt:

  • Shared communications: The bikers followed sign language which their team understood. I tried to decipher what they meant, and barring simple road signs, it appeared alien to me but was very well understood by the team. Does your team have the same understanding of the teams’ goals? Do they understand the in-flight changes that are taken? Do they follow you when these changes are made?
  • Respecting the marketplace: On the empty roads of Wyoming with speed limits of 80 mph, it is easy to drive past the speed limits, but these bikers were very much driving within the limits and safely – i.e. respecting the marketplace. They were doing the right thing even when no one was watching. So, how does your company act in such a situation? Or more importantly, how do you act?
  • Missing millennials: Like every organizations’ problem of reaching out to millennials, it appears the biker community is facing its millennials issue. Except for one group that we encountered, the bikers we saw were middle aged or senior citizens.

But for my family, it was vacation time. They had two important management lessons for me – “Dad, enjoy the vacation – stop working!” and “Drive safe to #Sturgis.”


About the Author

ImagePrashant Shah is a Principal at AXCELERUS, a specialized ETRM/CTRM consulting practice with global client-base and solutions for the full spectrum energy transacting value chain.   Prashant focuses on risk management activities, risk reporting, front, middle and back-office processes and commodities/energy transacting/risk management (C/ETRM) systems.

Prashant can be reached at

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